Taught course

Sports and Exercise Medicine

Trinity College Dublin · Anatomy

Entry requirements

• The MSc course is open to graduates from medicine, physiotherapy and a limited number of places are also offered to certified athletic training therapists (Ireland, USA and Canada only) and sports rehabilitation therapists (UK / Ireland BASRaT affiliated only).

• Successful medically qualified applicants will hold a level 8 degree at an upper 2nd class honours (2.1) or equivalent GPA level in medicine. Further post-graduate medical qualifications will be considered in cases of candidates with a lower degree level. Degrees for all medical applicants must be recognised as equivalent to Irish, UK or EU degrees. For non-EU medical applicants, preference will therefore be given to doctors who have worked in state registered clinical roles in Ireland, UK, or EU for a period of at least 12 months. Those with appropriate clinical experience in athlete/team service provision will be prioritised.

• Successful physiotherapy qualified applicants will hold a level 8 degree at an upper 2nd class honours (2.1) or equivalent GPA level in physiotherapy. Applicants must hold representative body membership that is ISCP, CSP (UK) and/or Irish (CORU), UK and EU state registration as a physiotherapist. All applicants with physiotherapy and/or physical therapy degrees from non-EU universities must either have at least 2 years post-graduate experience including evidence of personal clinical case load, or undergone a successful CORU (Irish State registration) assessment for equivalence in order to advance the application process. Those with appropriate clinical experience in athlete/team service provision will be prioritised.

• Successful athletic training/sport therapy applicants will hold a level 8 degree at 1st class honours level or equivalent (GPA 4.0) in (a) athletic training and rehabilitation therapy or (b) sports rehabilitation therapy. ARTI (Ireland), the BOC (USA) and the CATA (Canada) regulate the Athletic Training/Therapy profession in their respective countries. Each of the three organisations accredit Athletic Training/Therapy programmes and set independent certification examinations which graduates must pass to become full, certified members. A tri-lateral agreement exists between ARTI (Ireland), the BOC (USA) and the CATA (Canada) whereby fully certified members of each organisation can challenge the certification examination of a sister organisation and can become full, certified members. Therefore, applicants from the Athletic Training/Therapy profession should be fully certified members of ARTI. Similarly with sports therapy graduates from the UK, the primary degree must be recognised by BASRaT, the UK accreditation body for Sport Rehabilitation Graduates. The BASRaT register has been approved as an Accredited Register by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care in the UK. Athletic Rehabilitation Training graduates from other areas will not be considered unless they have undergone cross-recognition procedures by ARTI or BASRaT. Applicants with proven clinical experience from placements in high level athlete/team service provision will be prioritised.

Months of entry


Course content

The aim of this MSc course is to allow participants commence entry level training or further their existing career progression in musculoskeletal and sports and exercise medicine by enhancing basic background knowledge in anatomy, exercise physiology, sports and exercise science; and, in addition develop high quality research, practical and critical thinking skills in musculoskeletal assessment, rehabilitation planning, and exercise testing and prescription in health and disease.

Students will achieve this through a tiered process starting with three basic science modules; Anatomy, Exercise Physiology; and Research Methods in Semester 1. In anatomy students will enhance their knowledge of musculoskeletal and neuroanatomy through instructor lead pro-section based practical classes and personal dissection projects; and, in lectures revisit the organisation of the central and peripheral nervous systems concerned with the control of human movement and/or relevant to sports related injury and assessment. In the exercise physiology module, learning focuses on the key systems for sports and physical activity; energy systems, muscle, cardiovascular and respiratory systems; and whole-body hormonal and homeostatic responses to physical activity, exercise and training. In the research methods module students will develop skills necessary to critically evaluate published research, formulate a research question and design a high-quality research project, from initial statistical modelling, ethics application, and power analysis, through data collection, data handling, and statistical analysis; and finally enabling writing of a scientific report worthy of submission as a journal article or critical review. The research methods module runs in parallel and supports the research dissertation component which runs over the entire academic year.

In the second semester the focus shifts to clinical and applied aspects during clinical sports and exercise medicine, musculoskeletal assessment, imaging and rehabilitation and exercise science modules. In these modules students will develop necessary entry level knowledge, core competencies and skills in musculoskeletal assessment, rehabilitation and exercise laboratory testing. Modules cover aspects of team and individual athlete care within different sports reflective of the course participants, and physical activity and health in the generally active population or those with chronic disease. Critical thinking skills are developed in instructor lead clinical case scenario-based teaching and student led clinical case presentations and modular seminars review current literature to demonstrate the scope of problems encountered in day-to-day care of athletes and teams, and the physically active of all ages and gender.

This M.Sc. in Sports and Exercise Medicine is delivered fulltime and in one academic year and is comprised of six taught modules (60 ECTS) and a research project (30 ECTS). All course material will wherever possible be presented by a core instructor group in face-to-face lecture, workshop, seminars and practical class-based formats on campus for which students are expected to fully attend. In especially the second semester some clinician lead lectures will be delivered on-line. There are two teaching semesters and then the final semester three (May-August) is devoted to research project data collection and report write up for submission in late August. Each semester is split into two 6-week teaching blocks per semester (with a one-week mid-term break); and each teaching week generally runs from 11am on Mondays through to lunchtime on Fridays in each week.

Please note, if further COVID19 variants arise some elements of course delivery; didactic elements, student presentations and assessments may be run ‘on-line’. All students will be required to have a PC or Mac computer with large RAM capability and at least 4-6 GB storage capacity to allow use of large statistical data analysis packages such as SPSS; and, Zoom or Teams functionality in order to attend ‘live streamed’ sessions and for remote learning of ‘on-line’ course delivery.

All students who complete six taught modules but do not complete the research project write up according to college calendar timelines will be eligible for an exit award of Post-graduate Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine. In order to achieve the award of MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine, students must complete all six taught modules (60 ECTS) and the research dissertation component (30 ECTS) within one year.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details